I did not attend all of it- but I thought it went pretty well. The prospectives seemed pretty laid back and social. I think I may have liked it more if they had given us better food :wink:
I'm curious to hear what other people have to say.
I went to the second look weekend a little wary of Duke, and I left with the feeling that I really wouldn't fit in there. Don't get me wrong--it's a great medical school. It's just that the type of person there wasn't exactly what I was looking for. I don't want to sound arrogant, but the people just weren't as amazing as I thought they'd be. That's not to say that they're not good people; they were just very interested in going to medical school, working hard, and getting a good rescidency in the end. There's nothing wrong with that, but they lacked the broader picture of medicine, culture, and society that I hoped that they would have.
I also left with reservations about their curriculum. Their summer months (or month) is really restricted; their students are not going to be able to do anything outside of school. Plus, during the school year (particularly the first year), there's just not time for people to be involved in community service activities. None of the people I spoke with did community service themselves (and I spoke to about 15), and the only thing that people were able to come up with as far as community service activities that were ongoing were a rural health clinic and some sex-ed at local schools. Those are good things, but not exactly what I was looking for.
I need a school that would let me explore various things, and before I get to the third year-- I need to be able to try a summer in industry, or abroad. Those opportunities just weren't at Duke.
I don't mean to slam Duke, this is just an honest appraisal of how I feel about the school. I still believe that it is a good choice for some, but just not for me.
Ok- I was really afraid of sounding like a jerk but I was having some of the same thoughts as you Clarissa- but I wanted to see what other people said first.
But then I was thinking about it and I am sure that I come off as a complete airhead to a lot of people when they first meet me even though I have a lot of interests and abilities
- That being said I was not very impressed by the panel disscussion- I also thought it was weird that one third year student kept talking about how he is not very smart.
It's not that I didn't think the people there were smart; they certainly were. It's just that in talking to some of them I didn't get the impression that they had larger goals-- they weren't thinking in the big picture as much as some others.
by saying that some people think that I am a ditz when they first meet me- I mean to imply that you often can not tell what people are really like when you first meet them- so maybe these people do have a ton of other interests and activities that they did not mention.
- The reason it annoyed me that that one student at the panel disscussion kept saying how he is not very smart is because I know Duke students are very smart and I thought he was giving people the wrong impression.
It is interesting that some of you had the same feelings. I wonder if I have met you in person there!
I had mixed feelings. I actually liked the upperclassmen and the panel discussions, but not did not hit it off with the rest of the prospectives. But I think Dr.G is right, first impressions don't always do justice. Besides, about half of the class of 2006 was not in the 2nd look, so I'm not too worried about the student body.
About the curriculum, I sometimes love it, and other times feel unsure about it. I still haven't figured out if I would be happy with it. But I hope that the love relationship triumphs b/c I really liked the campus and would love to live in the forest-like Durham for some of the busiest years of my life till now
My main gut reaction was that everybody seemed a little nervous and uptight, students and prospectives alike. On Saturday, I went to some of UNC's info sessions, and the atmosphere was COMPLETELY different--all of the prospectives were joking and laughing like it was their class reunion.
Also: did anybody else meet the jerky receptionist and the "financial aid open house"? I walk in with my girlfriend, with this lady staring us down, and say that I am here for the open house to talk about my financial aid package. The lady interrupts me and, without offering us a seat or anything, says tersely and unsmilingly "So what's your question?" It is hard to describe in words how rude she came across. Finally she forwarded us on to the real financial aid lady, who was much nicer.
On the bright side, I had another good talk with my interviewer, Dr. Drucker. That guy is too nice.
Damn you guys are giving me 2nd thoughts about Duke. I can't think of anything worse than a possibly uptight and intense class . But then Corday is right in that about half the class were not at the 2nd look. The applicants I interviewed with were great and the students I met during my interview were awesome as well.
Original- don't have second thoughts just because of this- this was my first second look weekend so maybe I had too high of expectations. I will almost definetly be at Duke next year- I love the campus, the wheather, and I think the third year is a great opportunity.
And there were some kids I met there who I think are really cool and would like to have in my class next year.
j99-I got to talk to my interviewer again as well, Dr. Abou Donia- he is such a cool guy
As a first-year at Duke I think I'm obliged to give some more perspective to this topic. I really wish I were at Second Look but unfortunatedly I just got my wisdom teeth taken out and I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have been much help
Ok, I think that there are a couple of issues that need to be addressed, and the first is the diversity in interests of the class. Yes it's true that you have to be focused and driven at Duke...you have to be if you want to survive the first year! But the fact is that you don't have to get honors and be the top. I think that maybe you met some of the members of the class that do think that way. I would say that that attitude has decreased among my classmates as the year has progressed and that's just because you have to have a balanced life if you want to stay sane!!
Our class is pretty diverse, and there are lots of opportunities to pursue other interests. I think the main point is that, like anywhere else, if you are interested in doing something you WILL find it, but you have to invest the energy to LOOK for it! This is true for community service. Sure, there are not many events that the whole class will take part in, but there are opporutinities in the community. For example, I've been volunteering this year at the Peds ward playing with kids and keeping them company for three hours every week. Plus, we have a small program where we pair up first-year students with long-term inpatients in the peds ward to be "big buddies". That's a medically related community service activity, but there are others as well.
Our class also has tons of students that are creatively bent, and who pursue those interests as well. One student writes and records his own music, another is the chair second violin in the Duke Symphony Orchestra, another is a drummer in an all med-student band which performs regularly in local night clubs, another was a professional artist and yet another student just paints for fun; a group of students go to yoga classes on campus and also at a nearby dance studio, yet others take ballroom and modern dance classes, and we have even a student who was on track to be an opera singer! My point is that there is a variety of interests in our class, and people do find time and energy to spend on things that they love OUTSIDE of med school.
As for the short summer break, yes I agree the first year doesn't have much time to go abroad. However, there are opportunities to spend the ENTIRE third year abroad doing research (clinical or basic science!) I betcha that you won't get that anywhere else!! And, even though the first year's schedule seems kind of hectic, realize that it's all worth it for the third year! And also, it's kind of cool that you don't have class ever again! (plus of course the opportunity to graduate with a double degree...)
I hope this clears up some issues, and if you have any questions, let me know!
I just got back from Durham last weekend and thought I'd comment on this thread so far...
Regarding the assertion that students at Duke lack vision of the "big picture": I think it's hard to project a humanistic vision when one is talking about curriculums, but I think your observation is more a characteristic of MEDICAL STUDENTS and DOCTORS in general. What in particular made Duke different than other schools? What other schools gave you a different impression?
Regarding the third year saying he was "stupid", I actually thought it was a welcome glimpse of humility, although I think he unfortunately overstated the situation. Anyone who can handle Duke's curriculum is NO SLOUCH.
It's not that I expected students to describe in intricate detail future plans, but at other interviews and in talking to people from other schools, when asked about their career plans, they readily suggest that they're going to do a few years of practice, then go into politics, or policy, or business. Or that they're really interested in basic science, or they have a love or a need to deal with urban poverty, or foreign development, or battered women. Obviously, not everybody is the same, but a large percentage of people express these sentiments.
First of all, Congrats on the Duke acceptance (and to everyone else on the thread who got in). I hope I get to be in the position to be hesitant about going to all-mighty Duke when I apply this year. I thought, from your first few posts, you meant extracurricular activities by saying "outside interests" were lacking somewhat; but from your last post, it seems that you were talking about diverging career paths and lifetime pursuits following medicine (business, politics, social work). Those are interesting activities, but then, why are these people going to med school? An average of 8 years worth of post-bacc training really isn't worth a few years of practice, to the trainee or the trainers, not to mention to the patient population or other med school applicants planning on working in the field until they retire. Call me a prude, but I dont necessarily equate "outside interests" with "good doctor."
Hey! I attended the majority of the 2nd Look Weekend and here are a few of my thoughts:
1)First Impression: I admit, I was a little nervous about how the students, applicants, and administrators would seem. However, from the time I stepped off the plane until the time I got back on board on Sunday, I was AMAZED at the friendliness that seemed to naturally flow from everyone. I honestly expected more snootiness and more uptight attitudes.
2)Student Life: Honestly, I had to try very hard to keep up with my first-year host. She had SO many activities and events for us to do - aside from the 2nd Look Weekend events - that I was feeling like a dork wishing that I could just go home, take a nap, and study for my test on Monday. It was great! Even her roommate (a second year on OB/GYN call) attended many of the functions and told me about all of the great organizations she was a part of, despite her 5am-5am schedule. I had the chance to talk to quite a few MD/MPH students who were planning on public health and policy goals that I never even considered being options. I felt as if the sky was the limit, no matter was track you choose.
3)Administrators: I MUST comment on the sincerity of the admissions staff and assistants. Anything I needed seemed to be taken care of within minutes. The atmosphere was TOTALLY different that it was during the interview process. I made sure to inquire about the support systems too.
4)Overall: Honestly, I went to the Duke 2nd look weekend PRAYING that I wouldn't find any faults with it. I was scared that something would pop up or occur that would make my med school choice that much more difficult. Luckily, everything seemed to fit in place. The perspectives all seemed like brilliant people. The first year seemed quite possible, given the supportive nature of my potential classmates. I was totally impressed with the immense diversity of the potential class as well. The best way to sum up my impression was that at Duke, the students work hard and play hard...TOGETHER - and they are all rewarded for such a balance at the end.
**NOTE: I encourage everyone to attend the school that they receive such positive vibes from. Of course, Duke is not the school for everyone. I hope that you all find the school that fits all of your needs in the best way possible!!
I ride that shuttle twice a week for work (clinical research at Duke), and while I was in undergrad at Duke, once a week for two years while I volunteered. Only once in all that time did I ever see it break down. It is air conditioned and adequate, but most people just walk from south to north hospital. It is primarily used for patient transport.